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Nameless Sound was established in 2001 to present the best of international contemporary music and to support the exploration of new methods in arts education

Nameless Sound presents concerts by premiere artists in the world of creative music. In addition, Nameless Sound artists work directly with students from Houston’s public schools, community centers, and homeless shelters. Nameless Sound’s educational work helps to nurture a new generation of artists and inspire tomorrow’s creative thinkers

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Arts Houston

Acuerdo de Musica Libre/ 
Free Music Agreement
a Festival of Improvised Music

In Mexico City In Houston
Dates & Venues:

Friday, September 10
(Escuela Nacional de Musica)

Saturday, September 11
at Museo del Eco
Dates & Venues: Friday, September 17, 8pm
at ElDorado Ballroom Building, Corner Suite
2312 Elgin St. [map]

Saturday, September 18, 8pm
at 14 Pews
800 Aurora St. [map]

Tickets: $10 General (for one night)
$13 for both nights
$8 Students
Everyone under 18 gets in for free

bringing Mexican and Texan improvisors together for new collaborations
in Mexico City and Houston

Remi Alvarez (Mexico City) - tenor saxophone
Chris Cogburn (Austin) - drums, percussion
David Dove (Houston) - trombone, amplified trombone, electronics
Juan Garcia (Merida) - bass (Mexico City only)
Lucas Gorham (Houston) - guitar, lap steel guitar
Milo Tamez  (San Cristobal de las Casas) - drums, percussion
jAWWAAD Taylor (Houston, New York City) - voice/MC, trumpet, electronics
Fernando Vigueras (Mexico City) - guitar
Juan Pablo Villa (Mexico City) - voice

Through the support of the Ford Foundation through NALAC (The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture), Nameless Sound presents Acuerdo de Musica Libre/ Free Music Agreement.  For four nights (two in Mexico City and two in Houston), “Acuerdo” gathers some of Texas’ and Mexico’s vital voices in creative music.  Over the course of these four evenings, the nine players will explore free improvisation though first-time collaborations and revisited associations. Through “Acuerdo”, Nameless Sound continues to emphasize musical improvisation as a vital act of transnational and inter-cultural community.  "Acuerdo" sheds light on crucial, world-class musicians in Mexico, who (in spite of cultural connections and geographic proximity) are not as well-known here as are their European counterparts. It seeks to plant the seeds for future collaboration and exchange, playing a connecting role in the ever-developing world community of creative musicians.


Acuerdo de Musica Libre/ Free Music Agreement
is supported in part by the Ford Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Transnational Cultural Remittances Grant Program and with the support of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston and Bank of America as part of the celebrations of Mexico’s Bicentennial.

Special thanks to Dunbar Harder, PPLC.
Special Thanks to Project Row Houses for the use of the Eldorado Building space.

About Musicians

Artist Links:
Remi Alvarez: http://www.remialvarez.com/
Chris Cogburn: http://www.rasbliutto.net/artists/chriscogburn.html
David Dove: http://elcangrejito.org/artists/david-dove/
Juan Garcia
Lucas Gorham: http://elcangrejito.org/concerts/
Milo Tamez: http://www.myspace.com/mulocololo
Jawwaad Taylor: http://www.myspace.com/jawwaadsbm
Fernando Vigueras: http://www.fernandovigueras.com/
Juan Pablo Villa: http://www.myspace.com/juanpablovilla

Remi Alvarez was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He studied transversal flute at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica from 1975 to 1979 with Ruben Islas, and is self-taught in saxophone. His professional debut was with Cuarteto Mexicano de Jazz in 1984. Later, he moved to New York City and continued his studies of composition and improvisation at the Creative Music Studio with Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell and Don Cherry. He received a bachelor in jazz at the Escuela Superior de Musica (ESM - INBA) in 1987. In 1988, he traveled to Paris where his musical development was strengthened by taking classes with composer saxophone player Steve Lacy. 

Since 1991, he has been a professor of saxophone and jazz at the Escuela Nacional de Musica from Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (ENM - UNAM). In February 2004, he traveled to Europe, invited by Georg Hoffman, Swiss drummer, and Tobias Delius, British saxophonist, touring several cities in Switzerland and Holland. In 2005, he took a course in advanced improvisation at the Vancouver Creative Music Institute with George Lewis and Evan Parker, among others. In June 2006, he was invited to play in the Vision Festival, the most important free jazz festival in New York by Dennis Gonzalez, Texan trumpet player. He was invited to the Festival Internacional de Jazz Plaza in La Habana, Cuba, in 1997. In October 2005 his trio Craneo de Jade performed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes as a part of the “Los Diez Grandes del Jazz”, a tribute to the pioneers of jazz in Mexico. 

He has been a member of Astillero ensemble since 2000, performing in France in 2001 and 2004. In October 2006, Astillero joined the 34th edition of the Festival Internacional Cervantino. Currently, he is a member of Antimateria, Craneo de Jade & FAS Trio ensembles; he has a duet with Gabriel Lauber and leads the Remi Alvarez Trio. He has performed live with musicians such as Sabir Mateen, Mark Dresser, Cooper-Moore, Elliott Levin, Rodrigo Amado, Dennis, Stefan and Aaron Gonzalez, Ernest Dawkins, Vinz Vonlanthen, Michael Vatcher, Tayeb Laoufi and the Gnawa Spirit from Morocco. He has performed live and recorded with the Camerata de las Americas. 

Percussionist Chris Cogburn is an active performer, educator and organizer, based in Austin, Texas. In performance, Cogburn approaches the physical nature of his chosen instrument with attention to the drum’s subtle and overlooked timbres/textures and an interest in its ability to resonate and transform. Moving across, atop, below and around a single drum with a variety of percussive objects and implements, Cogburn’s unique approach to the acoustic drum, its function and capabilities, gives rise to unexpected sound worlds suffused with meanings and forms, acute yet infinite.

Current projects include an electro-acoustic trio with avant-vocalist Liz Tonne and Baltimore electronic musician Bonnie Jones, duo collaborations with Vancouver percussionist Jeffrey Allport and Peruvian electronic artist Christian Galarreta, a trio with Mexico City based Visual artist Antonio Dominguez and guitarist Fernando Vigueras and SLIP/Watershed, an inter-media project with dancer/choreographer Jennifer Monson. Cogburn has led workshops on creative music making around the U.S., Canada and Mexico, working in contexts as diverse as inner-city community centers, homeless shelters, public and private high schools, universities and Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening Space.

Beginning in the summer of 2003, Cogburn has hosted an annual festival of improvised music - the No Idea Festival - showcasing a handful of Texas’ premiere creative musicians in collaboration with improvisors from around the U.S., Europe, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the world. Regarded as “one of the finest creative improvised music festivals in the world” (Paris Transatlantic) No Idea aspires to connect creative musicians, providing the space and time where artistic relationships can flourish, leading towards new areas and approaches in the music. No Idea has been held in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and New Orleans, with editions scheduled for Mexico City in May 2010.

Trombonist, improviser, composer, and educator David Dove grew up learning his horn in the public school band program, while at the same time playing electric-bass in punk rock groups. Before he was out of high school, he began a period exploring (formally and informally) a range of musical styles (including classical, jazz, experimental and 6 years in the band Sprawl). In the early 1990’s, he became dedicated to free improvisation, gigging and experimenting with a small group of like-minded Houston musicians (including New Zealander Paul Winstanley and the then-trio Charalambides). A degree of isolation, an eclectic musical background, and a commitment to creativity eventually led him to conceive of a new approach for music education. In 1997, Dove started working at MECA, an inner-city arts community center, where he began to develop this approach. In 2000, Pauline Oliveros (an important mentor) invited him to start a branch of The Deep Listening Institute (DLI) to further his education goals and bring contemporary musicians to Houston. In 2006, DLI Houston became Nameless Sound, an independent, Houston-based organization. Nameless Sound reaches over 1500 young people every year through creative music workshops in public schools, community centers, homeless shelters, and refugee communities. Dove has given performances and workshops all over the US and some internationally (Mexico, Canada, Scotland, Vietnam, Germany). He has collaborated with many of his favorite local/national/international artists. 

Juan Garcia was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and moved to Houston at the age of 17 where he attended the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. During his time in the US he was active in both the classical and contemporary worlds of music playing in symphonic orchestras, solo, and in many ensembles of improvised and contemporary music. While in Houston Garcia had the luck to randomly come upon the presence of David Dove who instructed him into the art of listening. Since 2001 Garcia has worked and played with the Nameless Sound Youth Ensemble (formerly MECA Improvisation Ensemble) and learned the virtue of independence, knowledge, and trust through the act of music improvisation. 

Following his time in Houston, Garcia received a Master's of Music Performance under Catalin Rotaru at Arizona State university. During his time in Arizona Juan created "The Solo Band" a multifaceted project featuring himself and anyone interested in collaborations regardless of art disciplines. He has been honored to play with many incredible artists including: Pauline Oliveros, Dave Dove, Chris Cogburn, Jandek, Susan Alcorn, Tatsuya Nakatani, Nuiko Wadden, Steffano Scodanibbio, Sandy Ewen, Jason Jackson, Kristilyn Woods, Sean Meehan, Lucas Gorham, Anat Cohavi, Susan Alcorn, Kyle Brukmann, Maria Chavez, Mikaela Miller, Bryan Eubanks, Nick Hennies, Cooper Moore, Jack Wright, Klaus Stoll, Daniel Lara, Fernando Vigueras, Antonio Dominguez, among others. 

Garcia currently lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico where he is double bassist for the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan and professor of contemporary music and double bass pedagogy at Escuela Superior de Arte de Yucatan (ESAY). In the summer of 2009, Juan initiated No Estacion-Arte - a multi-media arts center in Merida, Yucatan focused on premiering new works by Mexican and International artists made while in residence at the center. With a focus on teaching and the presentation of public workshops, No Estacion-Arte aspires to connect International artists with the thriving local creative community found within Merida, Yucatan. 

Guitarist, lap steel guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Lucas Gorham was originally a part of Nameless Sound's Youth Ensemble as a teenager. By the time he was 19, Gorham had gained (through Nameless Sound) experience from workshops with some of the premiere names in creative music (including Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee, Eugene Chadbourne, Sam Rivers, Leroy Jenkins, and William Parker). Gorham went on to become a key player in Houston’s music scene (both ‘underground’ and ‘above ground’). He fronts (and writes for) Grandfather Child, a hard-rocking, heartfelt, and inspirational soul/gospel/boogie/blues quartet. Strongly affected by his time playing for a charismatic ministry, Gorham calls his band “church music without the religion”. His ecstatic tendencies (and experimental tendencies) are even stronger in his “Sad Gorilla” solo sets, where three guitars (two lap steels), voice, and looping pedals weave a raw-but-soulful web of grooves (and deconstructed grooves), blues, boogie, drone, noise, and improvisation (sometimes done in ‘guerrilla’ style public performance). Gorham isn’t chained to his own vision. His wide range and open spirit have made him one of the most active collaborators in Houston’s busy improvisation scene. 

Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Freelance drummer- composer, Emilio Tamez has been involved for more than ten years in the development of an integrated art form of percussive sound. His solo project SchlagArt-Arte Percusivo Integral Libre, is one of ethnic textures and colors, sound-poetry, modern structuralism, jazz languages and free improvisation: it’s a work in progress/process. Emotional communication is what counts in his work and in the development of his individual identity. It is a style without boundaries or fixed schemes. There are elements from many cultures presented in an energetic performance attitude that features a strong connection with the artistic “moment”. This elements constitute an ongoing poetic laboratory of sound in the search of an integration of universal percussive expression and a very unique multidisciplinary performing art form.

Emilio has been involved in projects along Andrew Cyrille, Rashied Ali, Sonny Fortune, Reggie Workman, Ratzo B. Harris, Ronnie Burrage, Gebhard Ullmann, Gabriele Hasler, Ramon Lopez, Neil Swaison, Andre Jaume, Felix Petry, Ursel Schlight, Bruce Arnold, Shanti Oyarsabal, Omar Tamez, Jonathan Golove, Agusti Fernandez, Hernan Rios, John Beacon, Indran Amyrthanayagam, Jasna Jovicevic, Udo Moll, Hans Perment, Jen Kuan Chang, Ute Volker, Sankari Krishnan, Vlady Bystorv, among others.

He has perfomed at national and international festivals, art encounters, music residencies, and giving workshops and drum clinics at PercuSonidos, Festival Internacional de Percusiones, en Tampico (2008); Omi International Music Residency, en NY (2008); Cha'ak'ab Paaxil, Festival Internacional de Musica Libre en Merida, Yucatan, en sus tres primeras ediciones (2008-2010); La Granja Residencia Artistica Multidisciplinaria, en Valle de Bravo (2009); Festival Internacional de Percusiones, Monterrey, Mx, en su 3rd y 4th edicion (2006-07); Residencia en State University at Buffalo, NY (2006); Encuentro Internacional de Jazz y Musica Viva, Monterrey, (2003-07).

He is currently promoting “Transition-Transmission: New Creative Processes of the 21th Century Drums”, a project focused on new music for solo drums set recital as part of his work in progress soloist project SchlagArt-Arte Percusivo Integral Libre and in collaboration with Centro Mexicano para la Musica y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS), www.cmmas.org  in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. Tamez is now teaching at Universidad de Ciencias y Artes, Escuela de Musica, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico.

As a preteen, Northside Houston’s Jawwaad Taylor had an early exposure to creative music through the recordings Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton. At the same time, Jawwaad was developing his skills as a hip-hop MC and became an accomplished freestyle rapper. After meeting David Dove, he joined the group of musicians around Nameless Sound and his interest weighed more heavily on trumpet and free improvisation. After a period, Jawwaad returned to rhyming with a goal to bring his musical activities together and form an original approach. He and Dove worked for several years to craft creative music that kept the authenticity of its sources and maintained the spontaneity of free improvisation. In addition to his vocals and trumpet playing, Jawwaad brings a producer’s ear to his use of electronics and samplers. Jawwaad is now working on a solo hip-hop album, a follow up to the success of “Craft of the Lost Art” (Lex Records), by Shape of Broad Minds, the Philadelphia based underground hip-hop duo that features Jawwaad.

Fernando Vigueras is an instrumentalist with a degree in Guitar performance by the Escuela Nacional de Musica (UNAM) and a pending degree in Jazz Music (guitar) by the Escuela Superior de Musica (INBA). His work mainly revolves around varied instances where he performs diversified practices such as improvised music, sound art and the performance of contemporary repertoire for guitar, while interacting with different electronic media.

He has taken part in courses, improvisation and performance workshops led by: Dimos Goudaroulis, Magnus Andersson, Marc Ribot, Stefano Scodanibbio, Erick Christensen, Pauline Oliveros, Joelle Leandre, Arturo Parra, Marcelo Toledo and Manuel Rocha, among others. In several circumstances and projects, he has performed alongside artists such as: Carmina Escobar, Juan Pablo Villa, Israel Martinez, Jaime Razzo,  Benito Gonzalez, Manrico Montero, Antonio Dominguez,  Chris Cogburn, Wilfrido Terrazas, Alexander Bruck, Dora Juarez, Tomas Barreiro  and Ricardo Castillo, among others.

He was Artistic Director and coordinator for Espejos Sonoros Festival from 2007 to 2009. He performs in the ensambles; Linfa, Generacion Espontanea and Mar Saudade. He has recently been admitted into UNAM's post-graduate music program, where he currently studies for his Master's Degree in Performance. As a solo artist, he is constantly active in the diffusion of guitar music by contemporary composers, and his practice is focused on several art tendencies related with free improvisation.

Juan Pablo Villa is a vocal artist and composer who, for the last ten years –especially during the last four- has been devoted to vocal exploration by means of free-improvisation, vocal extended techniques and the free interpretation of diverse vocal manifestations of Mexico and abroad. His name is, without a doubt, a referent in Mexico in what concerns vocal expression and exploration.  

He has performed with several renowned artists such as Shelley Hirsch, Arturo Lopez in La Gruta de Baba + CINEAMANO, Mario de Vega, Julian Bonequi and Rogelio Sosa in the free improvisation ensemble Pandillismo, Mardonio Carballo in the Nahuatl poetry and vocal improvisation ensemble Xolo, German Bringas, Iraida Noriega, Cabezas de Cera, Fuxe, Carlos Maldonado, Alejandro Chavez, Raul Fernandez, Fernando Vigueras, Ricardo Castillo, Muna Zul, Chris Cogburn, Alex Bruck, and Chris Van Beuren.

His most relevant international performances include:

China: Mexican Pavillion Expo Shanghai with CINEAMANO (2010)

Japan: Theater 21, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art with CINEAMANO (2010), Kanasawa

Korea: Theater Zero with CINEAMANO (2010), Seoul

Belgium: Viva Mexico Festival at BOZAR with CINEAMANO (2010), Brussels

Barcelona: I International Improvisation Festival Hurta Cordel with the Mexican ensemble Pandillismo (2010), Antic Teatre with CINEAMANO (2010 and 2009), LEM Festival (2008), and GREC Festival with the Mexican-Catalan ensemble Vientos y Lugares (2008), Spain

Madrid: XIV International Improvisation Festival Hurta Cordel with Pandillismo (2010), and Poetico Festival in Casa America (2009), Spain

Castellon: Contemporary Art Museum Espai D'Art (2009), and CROMA Festival in Villadecans with Vientos y Lugares (2008), Spain

Brazil: Passagem, IX Art Market, San Salvador de Bahia with CINEAMANO (2009).